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Discriminatory Firing of BOP Results in Jury Verdict, Settlement of $280,000

A California federal jury found the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) liable for discrimination against a former investigative lieutenant.  The parties eventually settled the matter for $280,000.

Isaac A. Asberry, a black male, worked for over 17 years at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, becoming a lieutenant.  His duties included investigating sex harassment allegations of female employees, and in 1992 and 1993 he investigated such allegations on his own.

On April 17, 1993, Warden Wayne Seifert demoted Asberry to a counselor for providing false statements during an investigation and conducting investigations without proper authorization.  That BOP decision was reversed by the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Then, on September 30, 1993, Associate Warden Gary Katsel terminated Asberry for “Medical Inability to Perform the Duties of Your Position.”  The termination became effective November 19, 1993.  Asberry alleged the termination was based upon his race and participation in investigations of sexual harassment claims against female guards.

Asberry, represented by attorney Robert M. Ball, filed suit on November 22, 1995.  The matter proceeded to trial with the jury finding BOP liable on May 29, 1997.  The court on June 20, 1997, remitted the award as follows: (a) the $120,000 award for future medical expenses was remitted entirely; (b) the $106,800 award for past lost earnings was reduced to $62,552; and (c) the $253,200 settlement that included all attorney fees and costs. See: Asberry v. Bureau of Prisons, USDC, C.D. CA. Case No 95-CV-8020.

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Related legal case

Asberry v. Bureau of Prisons